January 28, 2004 by

Alexandra Ripley


Categories: Writers/Editors

Alexandra Braid Ripley, the author who wrote the official sequel to “Gone With the Wind,” died on Jan. 10 of natural causes. She was 70.
Ripley graduated from Vassar College with a major in Russian. She worked at several publishing houses, writing catalog and flap copy for books until she got up the nerve to become an author in her own right.
In 1972, Ripley published her first book, “Who’s That Lady in the President’s Bed?” under the pseudonym B.K. Ripley, and followed it up with half a dozen historical novels, including “Charleston,” “The Time Returns” and “A Love Divine.” But she was best known for writing the 1991 novel, “Scarlett.” Ripley was selected by the Margaret Mitchell estate to write the book, which sold 8 million copies despite receiving lackluster reviews. It was also adapted into an eight-hour miniseries that aired on CBS in 1994.

7 Responses to Alexandra Ripley

  1. andrew

    I’m in Australia. I just read the LA Times on the internet, I’m very sorry to hear of the passing of Alexandra Ripley
    I read an article about her in a LIFE magazine, back in 1987 of 1988, when she was doing the GONE WITH THE WIND sequel. She apparently wrote out long hand a large amount of Margaret Mitchell’s novel, to familiarize herself with the style. That’s displayed her commitment to the task! I recall the LIFE article fondly, it had a nice pictorial of her family: I think her daughter was doing a MA in literature at the time. I first studied lit at university in 1988, so articles about a literary life like Alexandra’s definitely had a place in affirming my own choices and could have presented models for life, if you will.
    Vale Alexandra Ripley: a woman who augmented an American classic!

  2. nora dooley

    Can anyone tell me where Alexandra Riley was born and raised? I am writing a dissertation on southern women writers and I don’t know for sure if she was southern or not. nora dooley

  3. Julian Kelly

    I dated her when she was at Vassar. I met her through my friend Raymond Wood, who had lived near her in downtown Charleston (SC, of course). She was then “Sandy Braid”. I presume she was born there. I believe her address was 11 Lamboll St., but my memory may be faulty.

  4. Sabrina Caton

    I was 13 when Scarlett came out – and very honestly I was steaming mad because I wanted to write the sequel. I had loved GWTW since I was in the womb. I am now 28 and finally read the sequel and my eyes are still stinging for the tears. She did a beautiful job capturing our beloved charaters and bringing such a wonderful ending to Scarlett & Rhetts love affair. I could have never written anything close to this. Today, finding this sight I found out that Mrs. Ripley has passed & discovered that Mrs. Mitchells estate had selected her (I didn’t know that then). I was looking for her sight to tell her personally how silly I was for boycotting the book for 15 years. She was a wonderful writter and bless her heart for the passion she put into it. I wish I read it sooner.

  5. Linda Carpenter

    I waited impatiently for the book Scarlett to arrive at the bookstore, but before I could get there, I had received 2 copies from my friend and my daughter..I was captured by the story and have read the book many times since I received it. The mini series did not live up to the beauty of the book,but I understand the liberties that producers take and the money needed to make the movie as real as Gone With The Wind.I wish I had found a way to tell Alexandra how much this book has meant to me.Thanks to the Margaret Mithchell family for letting her have this rights to this book…

  6. Nancy Calvaresi

    This book has brought me so much joy. GWTW was given to me a gift during my 1st pregnancy 12 years ago. Lucky for me I did not have to wait decades for Scarlett to be written. I am always recommending it to anyone who will listen to me. I am currently reading it for about the 4th time. One year I even found a recipe for barm brack bread and my husband and I experimented with that together.
    I am afraid I disagree with the above blogger about the mini-series. I thought they really tried to remain close to the spirit of the book. I will say it did appear they ran out of time and budget at the end of the story as the ending appeared to be rushed. Or could it be that one can never get enough of Rhett Butler?

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